COVID Got You Stuck With Extra Vacation Days? Here are 10 Ways to Make the Most of Them

Sarah Pritzker
Top 10 Staycation Ideas That You Can't Live Without

All hope is not lost. There are still many ways for you to enjoy your extended time at home, and give yourself the much-needed and well-deserved vacation you've been looking forward to. 

Here are 10 of the best staycation ideas that will turn your own house, town, or city into a fun destination:

1. Get Schooled

Sometimes, a vacation is all about new experiences. But you don't have to go far to experience something new and exciting. If you’re stuck at home, you can take a journey through the world of thought and knowledge with myriad online classes touching on everything from philosophy to cooking and beyond. Some art studios and dance centers may even offer socially distanced or outdoor classes where you can do ceramics, yoga, or painting in person. You can augment this staycation idea by purchasing some supplies and throwing yourself into your new hobby every time you need a little getaway. 

2. Do Everything the Same...But Different

Do Everything The Same But Different

Other people love vacation because of the break from routine. This type of staycation is the easiest to create. Turn off that alarm, throw out your schedule, and stay away from your email. Do meditation at 10 a.m. Take a nap at 2 p.m in the afternoon. Go for a stroll at 3:00 a.m. Just let go of routine! Wake up whenever you want. Do whatever tickles your fancy. Have fun living in the moment.

3. Host an International Food Festival

Like cooking?  Then this staycation idea will really whet your appetite. Create an international food festival right in your own home. You can browse the internet for cooking channels or cookbooks for some mouth-watering dishes. Pick your favorites and then make a menu for your food extravaganza. Make a shopping list to ensure you have all the ingredients you’ll need, and then get busy. Put on some great music, chop, dice, and sautee away, and don’t forget the wine pairings for each dish. This is one staycation you won’t soon forget!

4. Have a Movie Marathon

Sometimes, all you want out of a vacation is the opportunity to relax, zone out, and indulge. If that's the case, then a movie marathon staycation is probably music to your ears. Download or buy a few of the best flicks for your mood, order your favorite indulgent food (double-cheese pizza, Chinese food, or several pints of Ben & Jerry's - no one's judging!), and cozy up with your warmest pj's for the ultimate staycation for movie lovers. Whether it's horror flicks like “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” an action-packed series like “Fast & Furious,” or comedy like “Police Academy,” there's a movie marathon for everyone.

5. Get Crafty

Get Crafty

This one won’t work for everyone because some people find doing arts and crafts more of a punishment than a treat. But if you marvel at Martha Stewart, then this is the kind of staycation you’ve been dreaming of. Head over to Micheals, A.C. Moore, or if you’re planning in advance, go online and save, and go wild. Splurge on the really nice arts and crafts supplies. After all, they still won’t amount to anywhere near what a traditional vacation would.

Then, plan out your crafts. Pick a few fun and fanciful ones or choose one colossal project. Either way, make it something exciting, different, something you wouldn’t try out normally. And then have a blast putting your craftiness to work!

6. Discover a Hidden Gem

Patrick Rothfuss said it right when he said: “There is nothing quite so delightfully mysterious as a secret in your own backyard.” Sometimes, the most exciting discoveries happen right around the corner from home. Take this time to explore your neighborhood, visit a little-known street, area, or shop, or explore that park you always drive past but never seem to have the time to enjoy. You never know what you can find hiding right under your nose.

7. Create an At-Home Spa Day

Create an At-Home Spa Day

Dying for an indulgent day at the spa? Treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment right in your own home. From avocado face masks to a rejuvenating body scrub (make one yourself from brown sugar and olive oil), oatmeal foot bath, and facial steaming, there are dozens of easy and affordable spa treatments that you can make and use on your staycation. Put together things like deep hair conditioning treatments, milk bath, hand softening, aromatherapy shower, soothing eye treatment, and skin brightener, and you’re sure to walk away from this staycation refreshed and rejuvenated from head to toe.

8. Put on Your Own Wine-Tasting Event

If you love the idea of sipping wine and sampling some complementary pairings, then this is the staycation for you. Order several bottles of fine wine to taste test--you can focus on a single famous region like Napa, or compare different wines from regions around the world. Then pick out some food items that work well with each of your wine selections. You might enjoy a cheese plate, fondue station, or roasted vegetables alongside your glass of cabernet sauvignon.

9. Head Outdoors

One thing most people love about vacationing is getting outdoors and stretching your legs, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the beautiful scenery. But you don’t have to go far to have this kind of experience. Plan a staycation that is chock full of outdoor excitement. Go on a nature hike, do some people watching, and pack a picnic lunch. Pitch a tent and fire up a campfire to complete the ultimate outdoors staycation.

10. Vacation At Home

Maybe now’s not the time to jet-set across the globe finding exotic new destinations, but that doesn't mean you can't have an indulgent vacation right in your own home town. Make a list of all of the things that make going on vacation special. For you, this might be shopping, people watching, sleeping in, camping out, not having to deal with laundry, or doing some fun activities like water sports or hiking.

Now, go out and do all those things! Treat yourself to some new outfits, so you don't have to think about laundry for a week. And head over to whatever flavor of fun you think will fit the bill. Whether it's going to a scenic overview, empty beach, large park, or simply turning off the presets on your alarm clock--make it happen. 

Staycation Your Way...And Enjoy Every Minute of It!

By now, most of us have come to terms with the fact that an European trip or oceanside retreat isn’t in the cards. But you may have vacation days that you need to use, or perhaps you just need a break from work, regardless of where you go (or don’t).  

In that case, a staycation can be a great way to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge your batteries...just as long as you differentiate it from your usual at-home routine. So, don’t get bogged down with household chores or that long to-do list. Your staycation is just for you. Sure, it isn’t the Bahamas---but if you do it right, you may be surprised at how rewarding it can be. 

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Sarah Pritzker
Sarah Pritzker writes for and is a content writer with years of experience and a keen interest in the vast world of online consumer products. She enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market in a variety of fields.